DuPage County Estate Probate Attorney
Dedicated Lawyer Serving Northern Illinois and Cook County
When a loved one dies and the initial shock of loss passes, survivors realize the many complexities that arise in handling estate matters, such as paying debts and distributing the assets (within the estate) to the designated heirs. In the absence of a trust, these matters generally involve the probate process, which begins when the nominated executor files the necessary documents in probate court. Once appointed by the court, the executor is in charge of carrying out the wishes of the deceased (as instructed in the will) as well as ensuring that all bills are paid and everyone receives their rightful inheritance.
While some estates can be administered smoothly, others run into complications and involve court approval before action can be undertaken. Issues involving the identification of assets and debts, notice to creditors, notice to heirs, and other such matters often require the assistance of an experienced Illinois probate attorney. A probate lawyer can guide the executor through these often complex and confusing matters and help smooth over disagreements and disputes between family members.
For over 30 years, Michael V. LoCicero, Attorney at Law, has helped families in Illinois with their estate probate issues. He serves clients in DuPage County and Cook County, including Chicago area communities such as Elmhurst, Villa Park, Lombard, Oak Brook, Bensenville, and surrounding areas. Our DuPage County estate probate lawyer focuses on issues involving estate administration, both simple and uncontested and complex and contested.
The probate process may involve one or more of the following issues:
- Estate Administration - This process is required (generally called probate) whenever an individual dies and leaves assets, titled solely in their name, that exceed the value of $100,000. The named executor or other interested person petitions the court to open an estate for the deceased. Procedures, including the sending of notice and filing of petitions, are required to properly wrap up the last affairs of the deceased and properly distribute their assets.
- Independent Administration - This is a streamlined, more simple type of probate process that can be applicable if specified in the deceased's will or otherwise allowed by law. Limited filings and notice are involved, resulting in the savings of court costs and attorney’s fees in the handling of an estate. This is not available if the estate is contested or complex.
- Supervised Administration - This is a more restrictive type of probate process required in more complex or contested estates. More court supervision exists in the handing of the deceased’s assets and debts. Court permission is required in most instances before action can be taken.
- Contested Estates - Probate litigation may be required whenever heirs or persons named in a will are not easily located and/or raise disputes or issues that need to be resolved by the court.
- Minors with Inheritance - Minors are legally required to be represented by another adult until the age of 18. Until that time, the minor needs a guardian to be appointed who can represent them and retain and manage property for them.
- Guardianship of Disabled Adults - A court can be petitioned to designate a guardian for an adult with developmental disabilities or who becomes incompetent. This guardian may be in charge of the disabled person, his/her estate, or both. A guardian in charge of both the person and estate is referred to as a "plenary" guardian. To obtain guardianship of a disabled adult, the court must be presented with a report from a qualified physician detailing the disability and explaining the need for a guardian.
- Intestate Estates (Dying without a Will) - In instances when the deceased did not have a will, the probate process can become far more lengthy and complicated.
- Small Estates Affidavits - This is a simple streamlined process, without court involvement, when no disputes exist, debts have been paid, and assets that the deceased leaves are nominal. An experienced attorney can prepare this document to accomplish the transfer of a deceased’s assets thereby savings time and money.
- Bond in Lieu of Probate - A simple process available in only limited situations where real property of a decedent can be transferred without court proceedings upon the posting of a bond and personal guaranty.
Before entering probate court, it is important to have an estate lawyer by your side. For an experienced, compassionate estate probate lawyer in Illinois, contact Michael V. LoCicero, Attorney at Law today at 630-932-7007. Our DuPage County estate probate lawyer will give you a free consultation to show you what is necessary to get the probate process started and ensure a smooth administration of your loved one’s final affairs. Michael represents clients for estate probate matters in Cook County and DuPage County, including Elmhurst, Villa Park, Lombard, Itasca, Hillside, Darien, Lemont, Naperville, Wheaton, Brookfield, and surrounding Illinois communities.